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Attack in Somalia

On 20 August, a massive attack on Hayat hotel in Mogadishu took place where 20 people were killed and more than 30 wounded. The attack came in the midst of the crisis and the famine that the country is currently enduring. It was a siege that surrounded the hotel for 30 hours before the police finally intervened. Hostages were kept inside the building Detonations through cars bombs have occurred and the use of gun fires. The Shebaab movement, related to Al-Qaida, claimed the attack and the Hayat was perhaps chosen since it hosts politicians and state officials and the movement is known to fight the Somalian government since 15 years.

Other attacks have also occurred 2 years ago by the same terrorist group on another hotel in the capital and it had targeted many over the last years. Also, it is the biggest and the first attack since the recent presidential elections and the arrival of the new president Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud to power, and retaliation to the persecution it meets from the current government. The United States military forces targeted above 10 fighters from the militant group and it sent troops along with the United Nations, following the orders of the president Joe Biden, to support the government and counter-attack the activities of the movement.

Supposedly, the African Union force had cleansed the capital from their presence in 2011 but they are apparently still active and can conduct suicide attacks and regain some territories. Generally, this Islamic group appeared in 2006 as the radical wing of the Union of Islamic Courts movement and is thought to hold around 7000 fighters. It seeks to impose a state based on the Islamic Shariaa. In 2012, they have pledged obedience to Al-Qaida then chef Ayaman El-Zawahri. It controls the majority of southern Somalia and had a popular base strengthened through the years. The emergence of such radical groups is explained by the chaos that the country in particular and the Horn of Africa in general, had been suffering of since the fall of Seyaad Beri in 1991 and the lack of an effective local government. Their presence makes the country dangerous and unsafe to the point where citizens left their habitats for safer places across the country.

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